Kansas May Drug Test Welfare Recipients Too

Continuing a trend seen in several other states, most prominently Florida, after Republicans take over the legislature, there’s a bill in Kansas to institute drug testing for welfare recipients. The bill is currently in a House committee and you can be sure that Gov. Sam Brownback would sign it:

A bill that requires random drug testing of one-third of the applicants in the state’s 13,000 welfare cases will have a hearing before the House Health and Human Services committee today.

People who test positive for illegal drugs, such as opiates, amphetamines or marijuana, would be subject to a drug treatment program and continued drug tests. A second positive test would suspend welfare payments for a year and again require a treatment program. A third violation would bar a person from receiving state welfare money.

Testing welfare recipients would ensure that taxpayer money does not go toward those abusing the system, said Rep. Brett Hildabrand, R-Merriam, sponsor of HB 2686.

“It would add some accountability to those who receive state assistance and ensure that the money is going to those who in my opinion deserve it most,” he said.

First, this is unconstitutional and the courts have already ruled it to be. Second, why only welfare recipients? If you’re worried about those who receive “taxpayer money,” you should also test corporate CEOs and board members of companies that receive tax subsidies or have a contract for state business. Oh, and elected officials too. Put that in the bill and it will never pass. Because it’s all about scapegoating poor people. And by the way, it actually costs more money than it saves.

16 comments on this post.
  1. democommie:

    I’m wit Ed on this. If you’re gonna start worryin’ about people being addicted and delusional, it’s a good idea to go “Top down”.

    Sam Brownback is lining himself up to be “chosen by GOD” to throw his hat in the ring for 2016 and then sometime around April or May, 2016 have GOD say, “Pull my finger!”.

    Today’s KKKristiainist GOP where fuckin’ the poor is a sacrament and teh KKKrazzeepants Burnin’ Stoopit is A Cardinal Virtue*.

    * I don’t know, maybe, “Cardinal virtue” is a little too “Whore of Babylon”.

  2. Gvlgeologist, FCD:

    You don’t understand that in Florida there was a very good reason for doing this. Governor Rick Voldemort Scott’s company would have been doing much of the testing.

  3. No One:

    Governor Rick Scott of Florida has the testing administered by one of his wife’s companies:

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/gov-rick-scotts-drug-testing-policy-stirs-suspicio/nLq8f/

    This include testing foe state employees, except of course for him and his cronies.

  4. Barefoot Bree:

    Last line of the quoted article:

    <blockquote"“It would add some accountability to those who receive state assistance and ensure that the money is going to those who in my opinion deserve it most,” he said.

    Who gives a flying fornication about your opinion? Who the hell are YOU to determine who is deserving of assistance?

    This is what torches my shorts about the Right (well, one of the things): the insistence on bringing morality – THEIR morality, of course – into places where it does not belong. (Like, shoved onto everyone else, whether they agree with it or not.)

  5. Barefoot Bree:

    *sigh* blockquote fail. Sorry.

  6. tommykey:

    What happens if you smoked a joint at a friend’s party and then several days later lost your job for unrelated reasons?

  7. Marcus Ranum:

    Since all governors and members of Congress are such important decision-makers, they should undergo mandatory drug testing, too. Because they’re living off the public, and some of them come up with the kind of ideas usually associated with meth.

  8. fifthdentist:

    First of all, opiates and amphetamines aren’t illegal per se.
    Also Ed, you misspelled “dark” as “poor” in your second-to-last sentence.

  9. d.c.wilson:

    Tommykey:

    Worse:

    What if you had a cold and you doctor prescribed codeine and then you lost you job? You didn’t even do anything illegal and yet now you’re being sent to treatment as a heroin addict.

  10. greg1466:

    I’m with you Ed. That was my immediate reaction the first time I saw legislation like this proposed. If you’re going to do it, it should apply to anyone who receives any kind of government benefit. Which means you are now proposing to randomly test virtually the entire population.

  11. scienceavenger:

    If you’re worried about those who receive “taxpayer money” [because they were irresponsible enough with their lives to require it]…

    To understand the mindset of the people who support this legislation, you must include the editorial above in their statements, because that’s how they think. Once you do that, you can see why your objections fall on deaf ears, which perceive them as nonsensical. They are firm believers in the “47%” philosophy espoused by Romney.

  12. marcus:

    Godwin alert!
    Seems that I’ve heard of this Sam Brownbelt guy somewhere before.

  13. bradleybetts:

    @scienceavenger

    In much the same way, “drug addict” does not mean “someone who made one bad decision possibly due to escapism from a fairly shitty life and ended up hooked and who is now sick and needs help to turn their life around”, it means “feckless waster”. “Homeless” does not mean “something bad happened and he lost his home, possibly due to a drink or drug addiction due in turn to prior bad stuff, and now they need help to survive”. It means “Drug addict” [see above for clarification].

    These are people who simplify everything, the entirety of life is simply black and white. They’re the sort of people who cannot tell the difference between someone who smokes the occasional joint and a heroin addict who lost their home, job, and family due to their addiction. They lack an ability to identify root causes. Their reality is not the same as ours… mainly because ours is actually fucking reality.

  14. tommykey:

    Some of my friends and family members on Facebook post these drug test welfare applicants and you shouldn’t get foodstamps if you smoke cigarettes type memes. I notice the general thrust of their outrage appears to be directed at the people who are at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder while ignoring the rich and the powerful. The conspiracy theorist in me would say this is deliberately done to make the middle class angry at the poor instead of the rich. “If I didn’t have to pay so much taxes to support you low-life irresponsible parasites, I would be one of the rich!” seems to encapsulate the mindset.

    Thomas Nast, the 19th century political cartoonist, had this one cartoon where he had side by side two forms of thievery. One was of a poor, hungry man being attacked by the police for taking a piece of bread from a bakery. The other was off Boss Tweed and his cronies marching out of the city treasury with bags of money while the police stand by and do nothing.

  15. jnorris:

    Barefoot Bree, the people Governor Scott believes better deserve government money is the drug company his wife owns.

    IIRC, the percentage of people tested in Florida was extremly small. about the same number of Floridians who vote fraudulently. :)

  16. csadams:

    When the governor of Brownbackistan sees Texas as a role model, we know we’re in trouble. Very very dismal here.

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